Beer Review: Hopfest – Mad Squirrel Brewery

I found another railway arch bottle shop and bar, near where I live, recently and I thought I’d pay them a visit and grab some beers. I went for some new breweries including this one from Hemel Hempstead based Mad Squirrel. ‘Hopfest’ is their gluten free option in the form of a pale ale at 3.8% ABV.

Visually the beer pours a slightly hazy-gold straw colour. The nose is very fresh. Lot’s of citrus grapefruit with a grassy or piney aroma as well. For a session beer the body is surprisingly full with the citrus and pine from the nose coming through in the flavour. There is a good hop hit without being overbearing. Lovely bitterness throughout leading to a moreish finish.

A quick note on the can art: All their core range cans feature their squirrel motif. The background for the design reminds me of tree bark and I think the can stands out rather well.

For a session ABV, core range, gluten free beer this is pretty solid. The main takeaway for me is that it’s a refreshing brew. I could find myself very easily knocking back pints of this on a hot summers day. The flavour profile isn’t mind blowing, but that is to be expected from a lower ABV beer. However, it is crisp and hoppy and has enough going on to keep you interested. If you are gluten intolerant I don’t think you’d have any issues with this beer as Mad Squirrel’s GF option, particularly if you enjoy a nice bitter hit in your brews.

Score: 7.5/10

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

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Additional Information:

  • Hops: Citra, Centennial, Chinook
  • Malt: Not Available
  • IBU: 27
  • ABV: 3.8%
  • Gluten Free: Yes!
  • Vegan: Yes!
  • Purchase Location: Wanstead Tap
  • Purchase Price: £4

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